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Thoughts on Open University ?

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Would anyone have recommendations for the Open University Degrees on Computing Science, I run my own business but I would like to get a degree in my spare time as my passion has been programming for many years and more recently I've been getting heavily into teaching myself mathematics (algebra,trig,calculus etc). I'm not really in a position to drop everything and goto University, but this seems like a viable option and might aswell get a Bsc to show for it in my own time? Thanks for any thoughts on this or suggestions otherwise etc.

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It's been some years since I looked at Open University degrees, but I wasn't too impressed back then. To be honest, given that you'd be working from books and at home most of the time, I would find it hard to recommend you pay tuition fees rather than buying a few good books and working through them yourself. The only difference then is whether you can motivate yourself without assignments and deadlines.

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I'm studying Mathematics with the OU in my spare time (alongside my full time games industry job), and I've found it to be extremely good so far. I don't have any experience of the computing courses, but if they are as good as the maths courses I would recommend you at least give them a try.

You don't need to commit to doing a whole degree from the start, just take the courses one by one at your own pace to see how you get on.

It's very different to just buying books and working through them yourself. For a start the courses generally cover a very wide range of topics and you could easily spend the course fees on just buying books to cover these, plus you'd have to work out which books to buy, which bits of them to read, and there would be little help if you got stuck.

The OU courses are designed to guide you step by step, and contain all the material (printed booklets, exercises, assignments, videos, audio, software etc) you need. Then you also have (optional) tutorials (a few hours every few weeks) with your tutor and other students, and you can also phone or email your tutor any time you get stuck. Some of the courses also have residential parts, so for example I spent a week last summer at the University of Nottingham doing practical maths stuff.

It's quite hard work to find the time alongside a full time job (I spend about 10-15 hours a week on it), but for me it's definitely been worth it.

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